THE DAILY DRIVE: Penei Sewell didn't like his first start at left tackle. Now he could get another
By Kyle Meinke- mlive
ALLEN PARK -- Penei Sewell allowed two pressures in his return to left tackle over the weekend, and no quarterback hits. David Montgomery also found a lot of success on the ground while running behind him.
Just don’t tell Sewell that.
“I didn’t do a good job,” the third-year veteran said. “So, I’ve got to be better there, clean it up. Clean it up. Very dirty across the board. Just got to be better.”
Well, it sure seems like he’ll get another crack at it on Sunday when the Detroit Lions (1-1) host the Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at Ford Field.
Left tackle Taylor Decker suffered an ankle injury in the season-opening win against Kansas City. He managed to finish that game -- and played well, allowing just two pressures and no sacks -- but left Arrowhead Stadium in a protective boot. He hasn’t practiced since, missed the loss against Seattle on Sunday and his status for this week’s game is decidedly unclear.
With a big matchup in Green Bay looming just four days after that, Detroit -- which is also without right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai -- will be cautious with its longest-tenured player against Atlanta.
“There’s hope, but honestly I can’t say that (he’ll be back),” head coach Dan Campbell said during an interview with 97.1 The Ticket on Tuesday. “Decker is still day-to-day. He is improving, but I can’t say that with a ton of confidence right now that I know we’ll have Decker back.”
If Decker is unavailable to go, Sewell is expected to get a second straight start at left tackle. That’s his natural position anyway, earning the starting left tackle job at Oregon as a 17-year-old before becoming the youngest player ever to win the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best offensive lineman.
He moved to right tackle after he was selected seventh overall by Detroit in the 2021 draft, but moved back to left tackle just days before his NFL debut because Decker suffered a finger injury that required surgery. Sewell, then just 20 years old, became the youngest player to start a game at left tackle in league history.
Sewell eventually settled in at right tackle and was named to the Pro Bowl last year, just his second season in the league, and his first full season on the right side.
This year, he was named a team captain.
Before the first two games of the season, he was the guy picked to break down the team before kickoff.
He’s still just 22 years old.
“He’s growing as a leader,” offensive line coach Hank Fraley said. “He’s not always the most vocal, but he has a lot of passion. He allows his passion to shine on game days or practice. I get to be around him a lot more than other people, and it just shows, the work he’s put in. I was really excited for him because it just shows you people are paying attention. He’s not always the vocal guy, he’s not always going to call out the team, but he’s going to do it by his play and his work ethic.”
There’s no doubt about any of that. Sewell was tremendous last season, and tremendous again to open this season, not allowing so much as a single pressure in Kansas City and ranking No. 1 in the league in pass block win rate according to ESPN.
Then Decker was sidelined for Week 2, and Sewell flipped back to the left side. He was good -- ranking as Detroit’s sixth-best offensive player, according to ProFootballFocus, and the best offensive lineman not named Frank Ragnow -- although not his usual dominant self.
“Just a lot of technical things I didn’t get done,” Sewell said, “and also blocks that I should’ve made.”
Perhaps, although he has a pretty good excuse too. Left tackle is one of the toughest positions in the game, and the stakes are extraordinarily high. Playing on Jared Goff’s blind side, one mistake can kill not only a play, but perhaps a game or season if it leads to injury.
Sewell also hadn’t played the position since his rookie season, and had just three practices to get ready for the assignment.
“It’s not an excuse,” Sewell said. “Coach depends on me, this team depends on me. So there’s no difference. When it comes to what I need to work on, just those attention to details. Like, I’m a yard away from making that important block. Just got to get off the ball faster or stay on the block with Jonah (Jackson) more. Just communication like that.”
While Decker’s status is unclear, it seems Vaitai is trending toward missing multiple games at right guard after suffering a right knee injury against Seattle. Graham Glasgow is a natural replacement -- he’s a longtime starter at that position for Detroit and Denver -- but the Lions now find themselves stretched thin once again on the offensive line. They’ve played just one game with the starting five intact since Nov. 1, 2020.
“No curse,” Sewell said. “Everybody knows it’s a physical game. It’s part of it. It’s just something you can’t control, so we’ve just got to come out -- whoever is out there -- just be on the same mindset. That’s all that matters.”
The Detroit Lions nearly overcome pick-6, but lose in OT to the Seahawks
BY DAVE HOGG
(AP) — The Detroit Lions knew they had a potential matchup advantage going into Sunday’s game with the Seattle Seahawks.
Detroit had its young star defensive end, Aidan Hutchinson, lining up against a pair of backup offensive tackles in Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe.
Even if the Seahawks decided to double-team Hutchinson, there would be plenty of opportunities for the rest of their front seven to get after Seattle quarterback Geno Smith.
That never happened.
The Lions only sacked Smith once — a broken play late in the game — and never got near him as he drove the Seahawks for the winning touchdown in overtime.
“We made some critical errors, and that will get you beat every time,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said after the 37-31 loss.
Seattle’s starting tackles — Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas — both missed the game, but Smith didn’t believe that was going to make life easy for the Lions pass rush.
“Jake and Stone have played a lot of games for us, and they have stepped up big in a bunch of games,” he said. “We knew what they were going to do for us, and they weren’t going to be out there alone.”
The Lions didn’t get a sack in last week’s 21-20 upset of the Chiefs and didn’t get one against the Seahawks until the last play before the two-minute warning.
Smith couldn’t find an open receiver and didn’t want to throw the ball away before the clock hit two minutes. Linebacker Alex Anzalone ran him down for a 17-yard sack, giving the Lions good field position for the tying field goal, but that was the only big moment of the game.
“You’d like to believe we could have applied more pressure, but we never got them in that type of game,” Campbell said. “We let them continue to function in their offense.”
Detroit’s front seven also struggled with coverage, allowing tight ends Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson to catch nine passes from 10 targets for 132 yards. Two of the completions came in overtime, including a 21-yard catch by Parkinson to give Seattle a first down at the Lions 14.
“I wanted to see if we could put some pressure on them and get them out of their comfort zone,” Campbell said. “But we can’t rush high and let (Smith) run through the pocket — if he does that, you’re covering all day long.”
The Lions are now 0-3 against Seattle in Campbell’s three seasons, having allowed an average of 45.3 points, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll isn’t hoping for a fourth matchup.
“I have the ultimate respect for that team,” he said. “They challenge you in so many ways, especially with Coach Campbell’s play-calling. That’s why I’m so happy that we were able to hang around and win this game.”
B1G- Wisconsin Beats Ga. Southern 35-14
o In each of the Badgers’ last 17 wins, dating back to early 2021, Allen has run for 80+ yards. Allen has gone over 100 yards rushing in 15 of those 18 wins.
o Badgers are now 7-1 in games in which Allen scored multiple touchdowns.
o Mellusi made his 2 catches of the season, totaling 13 yards.
Georgia Southern head coach Clay Helton leads his team to the field before an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)© Provided by The Associated Press – SportsMordecai finished 19 of 30 for 236 passing yards. He had touchdown runs of 1 and 18 yards for Wisconsin (2-1) in its first meeting against the Eagles.
Georgia Southern's Khaleb Hood (7) catches a pass in front of Wisconsin's Ricardo Hallman (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)© Provided by The Associated Press – SportsMordecai, a SMU transfer, also had seven carries for 36 yards and two touchdowns.
Allen finished with 12 carries for 94 yards and two scores.
Chez Mellusi had 15 carries for 61 yards and one touchdown for Wisconsin.
The Badgers had only 46 rushing yards in the first half. Allen was notably absent for most of the half with 17 yards on four carries in the second quarter.
Wisconsin's Darryl Peterson (17) reacts after a fourth down stop during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Southern Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)© Provided by The Associated Press – SportsTulsa transfer Davis Brin threw two touchdowns for Georgia Southern (2-1). Brin was 33 of 52 for 383 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions through three-plus quarters.
Brin fumbled on a snap in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles their sixth turnover of the game.
Mordecai got the Badgers on the board first as he pulled down a high snap and ran 1 yard for the touchdown at 14 minutes, 18 seconds of the second quarter.
Georgia Southern Wisconsin Football© Provided by The Associated Press – SportsThe Eagles evened the score at 7 less than two minutes later on a 4-yard touchdown run by OJ Arnold.
The highlight on Georgia Southern’s first scoring drive was a 68-yard pass to the 4-yard line from Brin to Derwin Burgess Jr.
Wisconsin had three interceptions in the first half but failed to score on all three Eagles’ picks.
Georgia Southern’s Chase Folser missed a 48-yard field goal attempt with 2 seconds left in the first half that would’ve given the Eagles the lead.
Wisconsin's Tanner Mordecai runs during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Southern Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)© Provided by The Associated Press – SportsThe Eagles took a 14-7 lead as Jjay McAfee caught a 25-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter.
Allen got going with a 4-yard touchdown that tied the score at 14 at 10:53 of the third.
The game marked a turnaround for Wisconsin after last week’s 31-14 loss at Washington State. The Cougars held the Badgers’ running back duo of Mellusi and Allen to 69 yards on 19 carries.
Georgia Southern Wisconsin
OC Ben Johnson: Lions could use RB Jahmyr Gibbs in ways that 'people don't quite think we might
Detroit signaled its intent to use Gibbs heavily by making him the No. 12 overall pick in April's draft. A shifty back out of Alabama, he figures to be the lightning to David Montgomery's thunder in the club's revamped backfield.
While Montgomery takes over where the departed Jamaal Williams left off, serving up bowling-ball runs in the red zone and making defenders regret contact between the tackles, most believe Gibbs will be the primary catcher out of the backfield.
Gibbs was that for the Crimson Tide in his final year in college, collecting 44 receptions for 444 yards and three scores. He also proved capable of doing it professionally during the preseason in limited work, when he logged six carries for 19 yards and a catch for 18.
Johnson's comment raises the question of just how else he plans to employ the dynamic playmaker.
Whether he intends to give Gibbs extended looks out of the slot, has a unique package prepared or is even simply practicing gamesmanship ahead of the NFL Kickoff Game versus the Chiefs, Johnson can be trusted to get the most out of the rookie.
The Lions surprised under his leadership last year with the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the NFL, then decided to retool their rushing attack even after ranking 11th in ground yards.
Gibbs will play an integral role in whatever the new-look attack achieves.
We will get our first glimpse at how that shapes up on Sept. 7 in Kansas City, when the jack of all trades could prove to be an ace up Detroit's sleeve.
By Bobby Kownack- NFL.Com
Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs was already expected to provide another wrinkle or two to Detroit's attack.
Then offensive coordinator Ben Johnson decided to add another layer of intrigue on Saturday.
"We might use Gibbs in some ways that people don't quite think we might," Johnson said during his news conference,
The Detroit Tigers are starting to build a pipeline
By Jason Beck- MLB.com
The success Parker Meadows enjoyed during the Tigers’ just-completed homestand was about as seamless of a transition as a hitting prospect has enjoyed coming up from Triple-A Toledo to debut in Detroit since the team began its youth movement a couple of years ago. Not even Riley Greene made as much of an impact in his first 10 games when he debuted with the Tigers last summer.
As the Tigers prepare another batch of hitters to supplement their lineup, led by Colt Keith and Justyn-Henry Malloy, Meadows provides the template for making the increasingly challenging jump to the big leagues. That template, ironically, is one reason neither Malloy nor Keith are ready to debut just yet.
After weeks of anticipation about potential September callups, the Tigers announced two promotions from Triple-A Toledo Thursday night to fill their extra two spots for September. The only additional hitter is Andre Lipcius, a previously ranked prospect who quietly put together a solid season for the Mud Hens with his combination of impact power and plate discipline. The former third-round pick from the 2019 Draft batted .272 (98-for-36) with a .363 on-base percentage, supplemented by 52 walks, and a .419 slugging percentage with 16 doubles, 11 homers and 58 RBIs. He did so while playing first, second and third base as well as left field.
Lipcius showed steady improvement after a slow start in Toledo; he hit .218 in April, .237 in May, then .304 in June. After an injury stint cost him most of July, he returned to bat .343 over 18 games in August with five home runs, 21 RBIs and a 1.050 OPS. He drew almost as many walks (12) as strikeouts (14). Now, he’ll get an opportunity to prove if he can keep up that approach against Major League pitching.
Even if Lipcius makes it, he’s not expected to be an impact prospect on the same level as Keith and Malloy. However, president of baseball operations Scott Harris has repeatedly referenced unfinished business with the latter two before they’re viewed as ready to stick in the Majors and contribute on both sides of the ball.
“We talked a lot about this when we called up Parker Meadows, what we need to see from those two guys and all of the other future big-leaguers in Toledo,” Harris told 97.1 The Ticket earlier this week. “We need to get comfortable that they’re going to contribute in all facets of the game. Tiger fans have seen Parker already contribute on the bases, in the field and at the plate. We have to feel equally good about the rest of those guys.
“As I said last week, I think their bats are pretty close. I think both of them are pretty close to being able to help us at the plate. We have to make sure that we’re investing in the other facets of their games so that they’re ready to get here.”
Yes, it helps that Lipcius is on the Tigers’ 40-man roster already. But it’s not viewed as the main reason. If either Malloy or Keith were viewed as ready to stick, they’d be added.
Still, the fact that the Tigers have so many prospects to consider is a refreshing turn.
“I think you’re going to look up at some point in the near future, most likely into 2024, and you’re going to see a really young, really talented team,” Harris told 97.1. “We have an emerging nucleus on both sides of the ball that, if I were just a fan, that’s what I would want an organization to do. I would want them to have a steady stream of young players that are filtering into the big leagues that are really high-upside players that can fill out an entire lineup, or fill out an entire rotation. We’re not where we want to be yet, but we start to have the pieces in place, we’re starting to fill in at all positions and throughout the pitching staff.”
When Jobe returned from his back surgery earlier this summer, the Tigers’ No. 3 prospect per MLB Pipeline said he wasn’t setting any statistical goals for his stretch run.
“The goal this year is to end it healthy,” he said at the time. “I obviously want to perform as well, but I have to make sure I can get through this year healthy.”
A month later, the statistics stand out nonetheless. Through six starts at High-A West Michigan, the third overall pick from the 2021 Draft has a 41-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 30 innings. He has 15 strikeouts and no walks over his last two starts, both six innings with one earned run. He has a 33.6 percent strikeout rate, his highest of any full-season stop in his brief pro career to date. His 3.90 ERA stems in part from a .342 batting average on balls put in play despite a relatively low 25 percent line-drive rate, according to Fangraphs.
Jobe’s slider remains a high-spin wipeout pitch, but with a wider velocity range that he can manipulate for the situation, including a higher velocity in the mid-80s. His fastball continues to play big, but he has supplemented it with a cutter he developed during his rehab work in Lakeland, along with a changeup.
College GameDay: Locations, all-time appearances, most times hosting
Ever since ESPN's "College GameDay" preview show premiered for Notre Dame-Florida State in 1993, the pre-game show has traveled around the country at the top games each week. Find the complete rundown of every location below, most appearances and most times hosting, plus the eventual score for each game.
Along with featuring traditional powers such as Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and more, the show has also visited FCS schools and even DIII. The preview show includes Rece Davis, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit, among others, with Corso making his pick known by donning the headgear (or other related school item) of the winning team.
College GameDay: Most appearances, times hostedOhio State has the most appearances with 55. Alabama is a close second with 54 appearances. But the Buckeyes have the most wins with GameDay in attendance, winning 38 games. Ohio State has also hosted the most times with 22.
Most times hosting
2023 season locationsSept. 2Charlotte,
NCNorth Carolina vs. South Carolina
Thoughts on Detroit Sports
+Spencer Torkelson- Face it, the Tigers brought up Torkelson too early back in 2021. He was overmatched by MLB pitching right from the start. Torkelson was promoted full-time last season and hit 203 with eight homeruns and 28 RBI’s. It was not a pretty sight. Fast forward to 2023 and Tork is not a world burner at the plate, but he has made huge strides this season and in particular, since the all-star break. He just hit his 23rd round trip of the season and has 69 ribbies. His batting average is still only .235 and he may never hit north of .280. His defense is considered stellar and now opponents need to gameplan around him, Riley Greene and Kerry Carpenter and a few more waiting in AAA in Toledo. Its not a stretch that ST will hit north of 30 homeruns in 2023 and his RBI total could reach over 100 in 2024. It took awhile for him to get going. Keep it going Tork.
+Brad Holmes traded TJ Hockenson during the NFL midseason trade deadline last fall and it was a head scratcher. He was a first round pick in 2019 and for me, a tight end must be able to bench press the Chrysler building. Hockenson has yet to play a dozen games in an NFL season and Holmes and coach Dan Campbell do not value injured players and have made multiple injury settlements already during training camp. Make of that what you may in the brutal NFL season but Hock asked the Lions for big money before his fourth season and the Lions said NO. Detroit did pick up TJ’s 5th year option with the foresight of trading him. The Lions ultimately found a partner, dealing Hockenson and a pair of fourth-round picks in consecutive drafts (2023, 2024 conditional) to the division rival Minnesota Vikings for a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. Hockenson wants to be the money standard for NFL tight ends. While the Vikings are negotiating with him, they are far apart. The Lions wanted no part of overpaying a tight end. So, why did they take him in the first place? Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, the former GM and coach are in the NFL’s version of the secret division of the CIA. -Bernhard Langer- The ageless Langer won his first masters (1985) around the time Jack Nicklaus (1986) closed out both his last Masters and majors win on the regular Tour a long time ago. This product of Germany is in Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc this week and is still winning major golf tournaments. He has broken Hale Irwin’s record for the most tournaments won at 46 and humbly and confidently says he will play for a long time more. Its scary because earlier this year, he won the US Senior Open and told me two years ago at age 64 one of his proudest golf moments was shooting 64 on his birthday at Warwick while nearly winning against players 15-years younger. Langer is a class guy and is in better shape than 99 percent of the men his age. I wouldn’t arm wrestle him for money. He is motivated, is a God-fearing man and has his priorities straight. With the money he’s making, bet his wife loves to see him return happy and with big fat checks that he couldn’t spend long ago.
t’s hard to believe the debate that followed Kerry Carpenter to the Major Leagues a year ago.
Last Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of Carpenter’s debut after 30 home runs between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, a power surge that put the former 19th-round Draft pick on the prospect map. Nobody really knew whether the power, or the retooled swing that helped tap into it, would translate to the big leagues.
A year later, not only has Carpenter proven he’s a Major League hitter, he has made his case to be part of the core of the Tigers’ lineup moving forward alongside former top prospects and first-round picks Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson. Carpenter entered Tuesday’s series opener at Minnesota with a 130 OPS+ through 106 games as a Tiger, batting .273 with 21 home runs and 51 RBIs. His .838 OPS is the 13th-highest for a Tiger in their first 105 career games with a plate appearance, ahead of players such as Curtis Granderson (.819), Austin Jackson (.755), Lou Whitaker (.714) and Alan Trammell (.603) -- and just behind Juan Encarnacion (.841), Barney McCosky (.844) and Hank Greenberg (.846).
To say the swing has translated to the Majors, however, would be oversimplifying it. The hitter behind the swing has adjusted, too.
“I think he’s done a good job of learning and evolving,” manager A.J. Hinch said last week. “He has the right amount of stubbornness in him and his approach and in his swing. You need that as a hitter. You can’t tinker so much to the point of not knowing where your body is at or where your swing is at. On the flip side of that, you can’t be so stubborn that you’re not going to adjust to how the league is pitching you.”
Carpenter’s 7.2% walk rate this season is better than his 6.1% rate at Double-A last year. Likewise, his 21.7% strikeout rate is lower than his 27.5% rate in Erie last year. They’re also better than any of the major projection models had predicted for him this season, according to Fangraphs. He has lowered his chase rate from 33% last year to 31.8% this season, and he has raised his contact rate on pitches he does chase.
“It’s just been the learning experience, knowing that these guys know your weaknesses more than you do, basically,” Carpenter said. “And so, they’re going to try to really exploit that. Just making the adjustment back to that without getting completely away from what got me here or what I know I can do well, too. It’s been fun.”
Moreover, Carpenter has evolved in what pitches he hits. He pummeled fastballs last year, batting .316 with a .684 slugging percentage off of them, including all six of his home runs. He struggled against everything else, batting .161 with a 38.5% whiff rate off breaking balls and hitting .200 with a 26.3% whiff rate against offspeed pitches.
Not surprising, then, that the percentage of fastballs he has seen is down from 48.5% last year to 46.1% this season. He’s still hitting fastballs (.342 average, .667 slugging percentage, nine of his 15 home runs), but he has also improved against the other stuff. His .197 average off breaking balls is slightly up from last year, but that includes two homers and a dramatic drop in his whiff rate to 23.5%. His whiff rate on offspeed pitches is up to 34.8%, but he’s batting .288 against them with four home runs.
“I hit offspeed last year in the Minors,” Carpenter said, “but it’s different up here. These guys can throw it where they want to. They’ll throw it every pitch if they have to. I knew I could hit offspeed, but doing it up here against these guys while also having to respect the fastball has been a learning experience. It’s been fun to make that adjustment back.”
Pocono Checkered Flags and One Lap Down
Column by Roy J. Akers
Denny Hamlin was a deserving winner at the High Point.com 400. He dominated the later stages of the race but what most fans will remember, is Ryan Preece spun in the tunnel turn of lap 158 and NASCAR allowed the race to continue through the white flag. The drivers drove lap 159 full throttle, and NASCAR did not throw the caution flag until the field was within a couple hundred yards of a prone and parked Preece race car. More of that later in this column. Hamlin won his 50th Cup race and he passed inspection for the Hall of Fame awhile back.
Kevin Harvick finished fourth in his final Pocono race. The racing Gods both gave and took away from Harvick during the day. After a couple of cautions and a pit stop, Harvick cycled to the top and potentially could have won the race. He did not have enough for Truex Jr. or Hamlin and the #4 will walk away satisfied on his final attempt at the tricky triangle.
Martin Truex Jr. also looked fantastic multiple times during the High Point.com 400. A late pit stop cycled Truex Jr. to the front of the field and he drove his Toyota to a third-place finish after winning for the first time at Dover last weekend.
One Lap Down
Joey Logano looked great running in first place for about half of the first stage. Then, he found himself collected in an accident with heavy damage. His pit crew got him back on the racetrack, but he continued to have problems and retired from the race seven laps down to leader and finished 35th.
Austin Dillon will have bad dreams about turn one. He hit it early in the race but found himself still racing, but racing midpack. His second hit on lap 106 gave him heavy damage. Dillon was not happy and stayed on the track long enough to launch his helmet at Tyler Reddick. Reddick got into Dillon and ended his day. The helmet launch was a skipper and I give him a four out of ten.
Pocono is running into some bad racing luck and it appears to be self-inflicted by NASCAR. It was a great weekend and a four super races. Austin Hill winning the Xfinity Race. Kyle Busch winning the truck race and Denny Hamlin winning the Cup event. Still, after Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson were DQ’d last year and handed the win to Chase Elliott, who had no idea about the events until he landed home. This year, NASCAR officials should have thrown the caution on lap 158 and had a two lap shootout. Anytime you can let the drivers settle it instead of the race officials, you do it. No one attends a NASCAR race because of race officials anymore than people go to baseball games to let the umpires do it.
Former Red Wings Defensemen Slamming Babcock
Originally posted on Detroit Hockey | By Bob Duff |heliosThe recent episode with Mike Babcock again abusing his power over players brought back a personal memory from a press-box conversation with Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios about the latter days of his Detroit Red Wings career playing for Babcock.
“Remember that season when I was the seventh defenseman in Detroit?” Chelios asked of the 2008-09 campaign, his final one with the Red Wings. “Then two defensemen got hurt, and I was still the seventh defenseman.”
With this latest instance of Babcock utilizing his power over his players costing him his job in Columbus before he ever coached a single Blue Jackets game, a number of Babcock’s former players are recalling their experiences dealing with the personal hell Babcock could bring into a player’s life.
Chelios is one. He spoke about Babcock on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast.
“It’s just so unnecessary the things that did to players and how awkward and uncomfortable it could be,” Chelios said. “There are too many good people in hockey who have to put up with someone like him.”
Specifically, Chelios was citing the torment that Babcock unleashed upon Red Wings forward Johan Franzen.
“What (Babcock) put that poor kid through when he was suffering through the concussion thing,” Chelios recalled. “Literally, he was calling him into his office once a week to call him a fat pig and say that your teammates hate you and why don’t you just quit?”
Former Red Wings D Kindl Also Speaking OutDefenseman Jakub Kindl also spent plenty of time in Babcock’s doghouse while in Detroit. He’s also choosing to speak out in his homeland. Kindl penned a first-person essay on his NHL career for the Czech website bezfrazi.cz. In it, he touches on his torment at the hands of Babcock.
“Even when I was drafted, Babcock asked the scouts what kind of player I was,” Kindl wrote.”‘Something like Martin Škoula from Colorado,’ they said. ‘Oh, Jesus,’ was his reaction.
“I wasn’t his favorite player from the beginning, and even though (Red Wings GM Ken) Holland liked me, Babcock seemed to constantly test what I could handle and he let me know that he didn’t like me as a player. I couldn’t stand him as a person.
“(He’d be) making jokes with the others, but with me he barely exchanged a few words. If he did, it was to humiliate me. For example, he once put me on the right side of the defense, and I was looking at the lineup in disbelief. He was just passing by and heard me, so he looked at the lineup. He said, ‘Yeah, you’re on the right side. You have trouble playing on the left, and I’m making it harder for you, right?’ He erased it and put me back on the left.”
In Babcock’s first season as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kindl was the scorer of a overtime winner for Detroit against Toronto.
“That evening, I received a lot of messages from people all over the club,” Kindl recalled. “From chefs, guys who parked our cars, facility personnel, and from the people who worked in offices. They all congratulated me.”
BY RALPH D. RUSSO
Updated 5:57 AM EDT, September 18,
Florida State, Miami and Florida were all ranked in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday. The last time that happened was briefly in September 2017.
All three have been bumping along since then, with some highs (mostly from Florida) and plenty of lows.
There was a time when that threesome practically ruled the sport. As recently as 2000, the Seminoles, Hurricanes and Gators all finished in the top 10.
Whether all three are trending in the right direction is too be determined. Whether all three can even stay ranked for over the next few weeks is, too.
The Gators moved in at No. 25 this week after beating Tennessee on Saturday night to give second-year coach Billy Napier his first victory in one of Florida’s rival games.
Florida plays Charlotte next week before a manageable SEC East run of at Kentucky, Vanderbilt and at South Carolina before facing Georgia. Promising.
Miami is No. 20 with a road trip to Temple and home game at Georgia Tech on deck before two key Atlantic Coast Conference games against No. 17 North Carolina and Clemson.
As for No. 4 Florida State, which surged into the top five after opening the season by beating LSU, the Seminoles face a big test next week at Clemson before settling into the more mundane part of the ACC schedule.
The Florida State-Miami game is Nov. 11 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles and Gators play their traditional season-ending rivalry on Thanksgiving weekend.
The last time both of those games were matchups of ranked teams was 2016.
Reality Check endorses ranked rivalry games so here’s hoping the ‘Canes, Gators and ’Noles can keep it going.
Week 4 Top 25
A totally unfiltered opinion by
Roy J. Akers
Takeaways from Darlington
Heck, the place to be in Lions nation was at Arrowhead Stadium in KC during the game and in the Lions locker-room after their rare victory over Kansas City.
One of the defining moments of the game came early on when the Lions' head coach Dan Campbell decided to execute a fake punt inside their own 20-yard line during the first quarter. This audacious move set the tone for the Lions' boldness throughout the game. NFL Research revealed that no team attempted such a risky play in the entire 2022 NFL season. The gamble paid off as the Lions embarked on an impressive 91-yard drive, taking an early 7-0 lead and momentarily silencing Arrowhead Stadium.
You expect the super bowl defending Chiefs to come back... and they did.
Patrick Mahomes is a magician with the football. Multiple times during the night it looked like the Lions would sack him and then Mahomes would zig, zag and take off. He would make the right decisions and stretch the football out for a first down or slide before the visitors could put a big hit out on him.
Fourth quarter keys were the David.Montgomery eight yard touchdown scamper culminating a late drive in 9 plays and 75 yds,
Detroit knew their best chance to keep the game in check was to keep the NFL MVP Mahomes off the field.
The Detroit Lions 2023 rookie class was a little upside down as players available to Detroit by draft pundits were avoided and drafted players like Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campbell, Sam LaPorta, and Brian Branch played pivotal roles in the Lions' victory and contributed with key plays and demonstrating their readiness for the NFL . Brian Branch took a tipped Mahomes pass to the house for a 50 yard score to give Detroit its second touchdown.
Detroit went to Kansas City with a mission, get an impossible victory. This is their first victory in KC since 1988 when they won 7-6.
Bet their is no blueberry Kool-Aid to be found in any grocery store after today in Detroit. I just bought a case.
USC’s Caleb Williams, Ohio State’s Harrison Jr. and Michigan’s Corum top AP preseason All-Americans
BY RALPH D. RUSSO
Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of USC, Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and Michigan running back Blake Corum are among the returning first-team players who were selected to The Associated Press preseason All-America team announced Monday.
Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt and Miami safety Kam Kinchens also followed up their stellar 2022 seasons by being named preseason All-Americans by voters in the AP Top 25.
Two-time defending national champion and No. 1 Georgia had the most players on the first team with four, including tight end Brock Bowers, center Sedrick Van Pran and defensive backs Malaki Starks and Javon Bullard.
No. 3 Ohio State was second with three. Harrison was joined by fellow receiver Emeka Egbuka and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg.
Williams was named the AP Player of the Year before he won the Heisman last year, his first at USC after transferring from Oklahoma.
Corum was a Heisman contender last year until a late-season injury and returns to lead the second-ranked Wolverines, who are trying to reach the College Football Playoff for a third straight season. Michigan guard Zak Zinter was also selected to the first team.
The Wolverines, along with Big Ten rivals Penn State and Iowa, LSU and Washington each had two first-team selections.
The Big Ten led all conferences with 12 players on the first team and the Southeastern Conference was next with seven.
The Pac-12 had five first-team selections, led by Williams and including Colorado two-way threat Travis Hunter, who is expected to play both receiver and cornerback for coach Deion Sanders.
FIRST TEAMOFFENSEQuarterback — Caleb Williams, third-year, Southern California.
Running backs — Blake Corum, fourth-year, Michigan; Quinshon Judkins, second-year, Mississippi.
Tackles — Joe Alt, third-year, Notre Dame; Olu Fashanu, fourth-year, Penn State.
Guards — Cooper Beebe, fifth-year, Kansas State; Zak Zinter, fourth-year, Michigan.
Center — Sedrick Van Pran, fourth-year, Georgia.
Tight end — Brock Bowers, third-year, Georgia.
Wide receivers — Marvin Harrison Jr., third-year, Ohio State; Rome Odunze, fourth-year. Washington; Emeka Egbuka, third-year, Ohio State.
All-purpose player — Travis Hunter, second-year, Colorado.
Kicker — Joshua Karty, fourth-year, Stanford.
DEFENSEEdge rushers — Jared Verse, fourth-year, Florida State; Bralen Trice, fifth-year, Washington.
Interior linemen — Jer’Zhan Newton, fifth-year, Illinois; Dontay Corleone, third-year, Cincinnati.
Linebackers — Harold Perkins, second-year, LSU; Jamon Dumas-Johnson, third-year, Georgia; Tommy Eichenberg, fourth-year, Ohio State.
Cornerbacks — Kool-aid McKinstry, third-year, Alabama; Kalen King, third-year, Penn State.
Safeties — Kam Kinchens, third-year, Miami; Malaki Starks, second-year, Georgia.
Defensive back — Cooper DeJean, third-year, Iowa.
Punter — Tory Taylor, fourth-year, Iowa.
Pocono Race weekend takeaways
The winner of the NASCAR Highpoint 400.Com will take home this trophy
Pocono Raceway has been in the racing business for a long time. Home of NASCAR, formerly of Indy Car and a host of local events, it is a testimony to family racing, as its one of a few tracks not owned by NASCAR or Speedway Motorsports.
+ NASCAR held two summer races until 2021. Indy Car raced at 'Tricky Triangle' from 2013-2019. It currently hosts concerts, air shows, a racing school and countless local shows.
My impressions of the Pocono experience In no particular order until the final point are as follows.
+ Pocono is located in Eastern Pensylvania and like many tracks utilized by NASCAR, its off the beaten path. Great drive. Plenty of farms and hills. The track is located only five miles from US 80.
+Loved all of the campers located throughout the infield and along turns two and three.
The crowd was advertised as sold out to 95 percent of the capacity. NASCAR has had attendance problems, but not at Pocono. Plenty of driver t-shirts were worn by fans and +NASCAR/Driver and US flags were flown by fans in RV's and campers.
The painted rocks located inside the tunnel near the midway was a very nice touch. A.J. Foyt, , David Pearson., Mario Andretti, and now... Kevin Harvick among several others were featured. Like many tracks, roads around the track and on premises were adorned with homages to drivers. All really cool.
+ A double rainbow appeared on Friday night after the ARCA race was rescheduled for Saturday. The bottom rainbow was full. The top one was faint. Part two of story after picture.
+For a race fan, having three races in one day is a huge plus. Its true that only two were scheduled. The Pocono Mountains 225 Xfinity race and the Brakleen NASCAR Truck 150 was joined by the ARCA Sunset Hill Shooting Range 150. Dang, a triple header, CUP practice and qualifying.
Chase Elliott came to his scheduled media press conference and owned it. He admitted he did not deserve to win the lone Pocono race last year and said he has to win his way in and did not skirt Pocono is a good race for him to win his way in. Final part of story below.
Likewise, Kyle Busch was frank that his career would be very different if NASCAR allowed Cup drivers to earn championships in the other series. He teased he may finish his career in the undercard series. Just one day later, Busch scored his 99th truck win with a last lap pass in turn two to prove his predictions right.
+Austin Hill won the Xfinity race and if you like about two dozen questions on the technical aspects of winning, and I liked most of the questions, Hill is the man. Hill said he should have taken only 5th place or so, but a series of events including other driver mistakes catapulted him to the victory. His young daughter asked him a series of questions that Kyle Busch would have walked away from. Hill took his daughters questions like a champ.
+Coach Joe Gibbs showed up at the podium and talked about Denny Hamlin's 50th win and Toyota's 600th. What a thrill!
+ Finally, what was the best thing about the weekend? It was the hospitality of the staff and the very nice fans attending the race. They made the 1,000-mile round trip a fun experience.
Toledo and Ohio are the MAC pigskin 2023 Favorites
CLEVELAND -- Toledo and Ohio have been selected to win their respective divisions in the 2023 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Football Head Coaches Preseason Poll. Head Coaches were not allowed to vote for themselves in the poll.
The Rockets also received seven votes to win the MAC Football Championship Game title, while the Bobcats received four votes when it came to selecting who will take home the MAC crown. Buffalo claimed the other Championship vote.
Toledo, MAC West Division champions in 2022, defeated East Division champion Ohio, 17-7, in the MAC Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit. The Rockets went on to defeat Liberty in the Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl on their way to a 9-5 record. Head Coach Jason Candle’s Rockets return seven All-MAC players from last year’s team, including junior quarterback Dequan Finn and All-American cornerback Quinyon Mitchell.
Ohio finished the 2022 season 10-4 overall, 7-1 against MAC opponents and 6-0 at home. They wrapped up their record-setting performance with a 30-27 overtime victory against Wyoming in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. The 2022 season marked the Bobcats’ first 10-win season since 2011 and the fourth in program history.
The 77th season of MAC football kicks off on Saturday, August 26th and concludes with the 2023 MAC Football Championship Game at Ford Field on Saturday, December 2 at Noon ET (ESPN).
MAC East Division (First Place Votes)
1. Ohio (9) – 63 points
2. Miami (2) – 52 points
3. Buffalo (1) – 51 points
4. Bowling Green – 35 points
5. Akron – 26 points
6. Kent State – 19 points
MAC West Division (First Place Votes)
1. Toledo (11) – 66 points
2. Eastern Michigan (1) – 55 points
3. Northern Illinois – 38 points
4. Central Michigan – 37 points
5. Ball State – 27 points
6. Western Michigan – 23 points
MAC Champion: Toledo (7), Ohio (4), Buffalo (1)
Story by Grant Grubbs, Pro Talk •
Sauce Gardner explains why he did not want to play for hometown Detroit Lions© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsMost kids dream of suiting up under the big lights in their hometown. However, Sauce Gardner isn’t most kids.
Gardner was raised in Detroit. The 22-year-old admits it wasn’t always easy. Nonetheless, Gardner overcame the struggle. Gardner exited high school as a mere three-star recruit and the No. 1624 player in the Class of 2019, according to On3 Industry Ratings.
Yet, Cincinnati took a chance on him. The program certainly made the right decision. The 6-foot-3 cornerback played 1,059 snaps for the Bearcats without allowing a single touchdown in his career.
In his freshman season, Gardner earned a spot on the All-AAC first team along with the Newcomer of the Year Award from the UC athletic department. As a sophomore, Gardner continued his successful play, earning first and second-team All-American honors from multiple organizations.
For his efforts, the New York Jets selected Gardner with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Now set financially, Gardner was quietly happy he was no longer in Detroit.
Related video: Lions Jack Campbell Not Guaranteed to Start Week 1 (Dailymotion)
“I don’t really have a problem with everybody just asking me for money, but that’s one reason I didn’t want to get drafted by Detroit. That would have been a totally different story,” Gardner recently said on “The Pivot Podcast.”
“I would have so many people asking for tickets. Then, people would have probably seen me around Detroit. Then, they would have been trying to hang out with me. Then, they would have been trying to ask me for money,” Gardner said. “There are so many variables that go into it. That’s why I’m happy I am where I’m at right now.”
Gardner is successful in his current home. The Detroit native was the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. In 17 games, Gardner recorded two interceptions, 20 defended passes and 75 tackles.
Expected to have an even better sophomore effort, Gardner still provides for those who were there for him from the start.
“It’s a blessing, man,” Gardner said, per Mlive.com’s Kyle Meinke. “I don’t have anyone in my family that went through what I’m going through, so this is my first time experiencing it, and my parents’ first time, and the rest of my family experiencing it. My mom, she’s real humble, but I know when that day comes, she’s going to be very emotional.”
That day has come. Gardner will earn a base salary of $870,000 in 2023, with other bonuses included. Watch Gardner and the Jets kick off the NFL regular season on Sept. 11 when they take on the Buffalo Bills.
Ally Challenge- Vijay Singh wins the 6th Ally Challenge at Warwick Hills with an improbable win
By Associated Press August 27, 2023
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Vijay Singh won The Ally Challenge on Sunday for his first PGA Tour Champions title in nearly five years, mainly because of a five-putt triple bogey by Paul Goydos.
Singh closed with a 4-under 68, and he walked off the 18th green at Warwick Hills thinking he would need some help from Goydos, who was in the group behind and had a one-shot lead. Singh didn’t realize the help already had been delivered. Goydos was leading by one and had about an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole. He left that about 3 feet short. He rammed the par putt by the hole. He missed the 3-foot bogey putt. And then he missed again from about 4 feet and then tapped in for triple bogey.
Goydos retrieved the ball from the cup and stood on the green, arms crossed, trying to figure out what happened. He closed with a par for a 71, two shots behind. Singh finished at 14-under 202, one shot ahead of Jeff Maggert.The big Fijian walked off the 18th green and stared at a scoreboard, trying to figure out what happened behind him.
“I was 14 (under), Jeff was 13 and no ... no Goydos,” Singh said. “I was surprised what he did there.” Singh won for the fifth time on the PGA Tour Champions, his first since the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2018. He had three straight birdies on the back nine to momentarily take the lead, only to bogey the 15th and then fail to birdie the par-5 16th.
He ended his drought on a Warwick Hills course where Singh won three times when it was a regular stop on the PGA Tour. “For some reason, I drive the ball very well here,” Singh said. “I did that this week, and I putted well. Putting has been a mystery for a long time. I found a few things out in the last few weeks and I’ve been putting really well.”
Steve Stricker, playing for the first time in a month, closed with a 68 and tied for eighth to match his worst finish of the year. He has five wins — three of them senior majors — and five runner-up finishes.
Ally Challenge News and Notes
Story by Dustin Schutte, Pro Talk •19h
*Earlier this year, Shane van Gisbergen shocked the world of autosports with an unthinkable win at the Chicago Street Race. It was his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series start, an incredible feat to accomplish on the 4th of July weekend.
Now, van Gisbergen plans to capitalize on that success. According to Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal, the driver “is finalizing a deal to compete for (Trackhouse Racing) next year in a wide-range developmental deal, per source familiar, fulfilling one of the team’s goals to bring an international star to NASCAR racing full time.”
Currently, van Gisbergen drives in the Supercars Championship series in Australia and New Zealand. He’s won three championships and participated in over 500 races. He’s recorded 80 wins and 174 podiums.
Trackhouse Racing currently houses drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit.
It’s not often that a driver secures a checkered flag in his first ever NASCAR Cup Series appearance. After van Grisbergen took home the top spot in Chicago, he expressed serious interest in becoming more involved with the sport.
“Supercars isn’t that fun at the moment,” he said. “I’m not really enjoying it as much and starting to think about other things and look around. But my motivation for Supercars is high. I’m still trying hard and pushing as hard as I can. Certainly now I’ve started watching NASCAR more again this year. Opportunities come up, and it’s appealing.”
University of Oregon and University of Washington to Join Big Ten Conference in 2024
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) voted today to admit the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference effective August 2, 2024, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2024-25 academic year. With the schools’ admission, Oregon and Washington will also join the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), a consortium of world-class research institutions dedicated to advancing their academic missions.
“I’m thrilled that the University of Oregon has the opportunity to join the nation's preeminent academic-athletic conference,” said University of Oregon President John Karl Scholz. “Our student-athletes will participate at the highest level of collegiate athletic competition, and our alumni, friends, and fans will be able to carry the spirit of Oregon across the country.”
“The Big Ten is a thriving conference with strong athletic and academic traditions, and we are excited and confident about competing at the highest level on a national stage,” said University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. “My top priority must be to do what is best for our student-athletes and our University, and this move will help ensure a strong future for our athletics program.”
"The Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference," said COP/C Chair and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones. "When considering the full spectrum of academic, athletic and research excellence, the alignment with our member institutions is extremely clear. We are excited to welcome them and look forward to collaborating and competing with them in the years ahead."
“Accepting membership into the Big Ten Conference is a transformational opportunity for the University of Oregon to change the short and long-term trajectory of our university and athletics department,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens. “The stability and exposure of joining the Big Ten is of great benefit to the University of Oregon, and we are grateful to the Big Ten presidents and chancellors for accepting our application to join the conference. We look forward to the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete in this conference, which includes many of the best programs in the nation in every sport.”
“We have tremendous respect and gratitude for the Pac-12, its treasured history and traditions. At the same time, the college athletics landscape has changed dramatically in recent years,” said Washington Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen. “The Big Ten’s history of athletic and academic success and long-term stability best positions our teams for future success, and we are energized at the opportunity to compete at the highest level against some of the best programs in the country.”
In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. The University of Oregon and the University of Washington formally submitted applications to join the Big Ten Conference this afternoon. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and approved both applications.
"We are excited to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference,” said Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti. “We look forward to building long-lasting relationships with the universities, administrators and staff, student-athletes, coaches and fans,” Petitti said. “Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence that will prove a great fit for our future."
Europe cuts American lead to 5-3 in pm session
ANDALUCIA, Spain — After going 0-4 in the morning foursomes session on Friday at Finca Cortesin, the Europeans came out swinging in the afternoon fourball, winning two matches and halving two matches to trail 5-3 heading into Saturday. Afternoon play was highlighted by just the second ace in Solheim Cup history that came from Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen on the par-3 12th hole, and the European team looks to have regained its footing with their p.m. performance, refusing to go down without a fight. Here’s a look at the Friday afternoon results and Saturday morning matchups on day two of the 18th Solheim Cup.
Friday Afternoon Results
Match 5 – Rose Zhang/Megan Khang tied Gemma Dryburgh/Madelene Sagstrom
The United States held the lead from the jump, going 1-up after the first hole. It stayed a 1-up USA advantage through three before Madelene Sagstrom birdied No. 4, deadlocking the match for another hole. Then, Rose Zhang birdied No. 4 just to find the match tied once again after another European birdie on 6. Megan Khang put the Americans back in the lead, where it stayed until being knotted up after 12. The Europeans took their first lead of the match thanks to another Sagstrom birdie but quickly found themselves tied again after 15. Gemma Dryburgh looked to give Europe the edge again after holing out from the fiarway on 16, but Zhang sunk a clutch birdie putt to keep the match dormy. A round of pars on 18 kept the score that way, securing a half point for each squad.
Match 6 – Leona Maguire/Georgia Hall def. Lexi Thompson/Lilia Vu 1 up
After losing each of their foursomes matches this morning, Georgia Hall and Leona Maguire took the Solheim Cup stage again, this time paired together for fourball. The duo stayed even with Americans Lexi Thompson and Solheim Cup rookie Lilia Vu through the first three holes. Hall birdied hole No. 4, giving Europe the 1-up lead for the next nine holes. On 14, Thompson drove the green on the short par 4 and sunk an eagle putt to knot the match. Not for long, though, as the Europeans once again reclaimed the lead and held it for Nos. 15 and 16 before Vu birdied hole 17, tying it up just before the final hole. Coming down to the wire, Maguire chipped in for an impressive birdie and the Americans could not match it, giving Europe their first full point of the event.
Match 7 – Jennifer Kupcho/Allisen Corpuz tied Emily Kristine Pedersen/Maja Stark
The U.S. Team took the early 1-up lead thanks to a birdie from Jennifer Kupcho. Her and partner Allisen Corpuz stayed comfortably in the lead through five of the first six holes until Maja Stark tied the match with a birdie on No. 7. America reclaimed the lead on 8 and held it for the next three holes until Emily Kristine Pedersen aced hole No. 12, using her 7-iron to earn just the second hole-in-one in Solheim Cup history and first since Vice Captain Anna Nordqvist made one in 2013. The celebration did not last long with Kupcho adding another birdie on No. 13, giving the U.S. the lead through 15 where Europe tied it up once again. After an even 17, the teams took to No. 18 with the match on the line. Corpuz applied the pressure, sinking a birdie putt to give America the chance before Stark stared down a birdie putt of her own, sinking it and halving the match.
Match 8 – Carlota Ciganda/Linn Grant def. Angel Yin/Ally Ewing 4&2
In front of her home crowd, Spaniard Carlota Ciganda and her frouball partner Linn Grant earned a decisive win over Angel Yin and Ally Ewing. Ciganda birdied hole one, giving the Europeans their first lead of the day. That lead gradually grew as the matches went on, thanks to low scores by Ciganda and Grant on No. 4, which pushed the lead to two. Yin birdied No. 6, bringing the lead within one. It would stay that way for the next four holes until a Grant birdie on 11 and another Ciganda birdie on 14 put the Europeans 3-up. They finished 4&2 thanks to a pair of birdies on 16, giving Europe their second full point of the day.
Saturday Morning Matches
Match 9, 8:10 a.m. – Lilia Vu/Jennifer Kupcho vs. Emily Kristine Pedersen/Carlota Ciganda
Match 10, 8:22 a.m. – Lexi Thompson/Megan Khang vs. Anna Nordqvist/Leona Maguire
Match 11, 8:34 a.m. – Nelly Korda/Allisen Corpuz vs. Georgia Hall/Celine Boutier
Match 12, 8:46 a.m. – Danielle Kang/Andrea Lee vs. Maja Stark/Linn Grant
Detroit Tigers Beat Writer-MLB.com
Turns out it has already been getting emotional for Cabrera. He just hasn’t shown it.
Part of it undoubtedly is the uncertainty of what’s next. For two decades, Cabrera has had most of his days mapped out on an itinerary, whether based on a baseball schedule or offseason workouts. After next Sunday, that schedule is wide open.
Cabrera has talked with manager A.J. Hinch and others with the club about a role in retirement, something along the lines of a special assistant. He might not spend his summers traversing the farm system like Hall of Famer Alan Trammell -- nobody does it like Tram -- but he wants to be around to contribute. He wants to pass down his knowledge and love of the game.
“I want to stay with this team and help, do something,” he said. “I don’t want to be coaching. I want to move around. …
“Let’s see what happens. But I want to be around these guys. These guys, they’re special. They’re growing right now. They’re maturing. I think next year they’re going to be better.”
Cabrera has hit just four home runs at Oakland Coliseum, his lowest total at any current American League ballpark. Which pitcher, formerly with the A’s, gave up his most recent homer there?
A. Kendall Graveman
B. Sonny Gray
C. Daniel Mengden
D. Jesús Luzardo
TIGERS HAVE A GM
In case you missed it, the Tigers have a new general manager working under president of baseball operations Scott Harris. He’s Jeff Greenberg, who worked his way up the Cubs front office over 11 years before spending the last 16 months as an associate general manager for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
What does this mean for the Tigers? For starters, it allows Harris to focus on the big picture of the overall organization and Greenberg takes over day-to-day activities and transactions. Harris had been doing it all since last fall, including the frequent roster churn of waiver claims. That’s not necessarily new; the Tigers operated for 20 years with a GM but no president of baseball ops. Still, as Harris tries to forge an organizational direction and shape a staff he largely inherited, it splits Harris’ attention between the long term and the here-and-now.
There’s a fair amount of overlap between Harris and Greenberg; they worked together with the Cubs for several years. Greenberg did a lot on the scouting and research side, building out data and methods to evaluate and acquire players. Harris had a similar path with the Cubs, working with various departments and assisting with player evaluations, acquisitions and contract negotiations.
They won’t be trying to run back the Cubs’ model, but it’s easy to see how they can complement each other. While Harris oversees the long-term organization buildup and where it’s headed, Greenberg takes over the responsibility for getting the roster better next season and evaluating who can help them get there.
We should get a better idea of how this will work on Tuesday when Greenberg is formally introduced at a press conference at Comerica Park.
J.J. McCarthy stumbles in three-interception game
by John Tondora- Michigan Daily
The first was uncharacteristic. The second was uncanny. The third made it incontrovertible.
The once-infallible J.J. McCarthy had stumbled.
Throwing a trifecta of interceptions in just 13 passing attempts, it was “just one of those days” for the junior quarterback and the No. 2 Michigan offense according to senior running back Blake Corum. A day McCarthy is ready to forget. Sitting dejected in the post-game press conference, the Wolverines’ signal caller could muster little explanations for the mistakes.
“I’m going to take all those on the chin,” McCarthy said. “Put them all on me. There’s a lot of stuff that just didn’t go my way and didn’t go the offense’s way.”
The first appeared uncharacteristic for 2023 McCarthy. After a historic start to the 2023 season — and one that saw 55 straight attempts without an interception — McCarthy’s first interception provided a humbling return to reality.
Driving deep into the red zone on its second drive of the night, Michigan’s offense looked to strike its second consecutive touchdown.
Dropping back, McCarthy attempted to lace a pass to senior wide receiver Roman Wilson. A mistimed read, McCarthy failed to see Bowling Green defensive back Jalen Huskey, who pounced on the misplaced ball for McCarthy’s first blemish of the day — and season.
“(The second drive) we’re not spaced up and then we have a pick, so that all equates to it,” acting head coach Sherrone Moore said. “We weren’t spaced up on the outside so that equated to bringing the corner in there and throwing the pick. Get the ball again and just keep it moving and just a bad read.”
However, for McCarthy, the woes refused to stop there.
The quarterback got the football back in his hands nearly nine minutes later, forced to sit and stew on the sidelines in the meantime. But that time to reflect didn’t help as the struggles continued.
Looking to strike back, McCarthy once again had the Wolverines moving deep into the second quarter. Dialing up a deep shot, he attempted to once again prove that issues with the deep ball were a thing of the past. And yet, old sores reopened. Sophomore receiver Tyler Morris had exposed a busted coverage on what projected to be at worst a big gain and at best, a touchdown. No big gain or touchdown ensued and McCarthy sailed the pass over Morris’ head.
McCarthy was unable to bounce back. Trying yet another deep shot under the watchful eye of the interim coach Moore, McCarthy evidently seemed to dial his arm strength back. Perhaps influenced by his struggling first half, the quarterback attempted a more delicate pass — this time to graduate receiver Cornelius Johnson.
Instead of a precise pass, McCarthy misplaced the throw as the ball fell short of Johnson and into the hands of the defensive back. With just five total offensive drives in the first half, McCarthy threw an interception on two of them. By this point, McCarthy had tied his entire interception total from the 2022 regular season in just a half, and looked nothing like the leader who shined for Michigan through two games this season.
“(Moore’s) main message was just throw it in the ocean and keep being me,” McCarthy said of his mentality. “That meant a lot to me to know that he still had the trust in me to keep throwing the ball.”
Though McCarthy stressed his ability “to stay in the present moment” postgame, his struggles hardly ever left him.
Even on a 50-yard touchdown pass to Johnson, McCarthy emphasized the bobbled reception as an “ill-advised throw.” On what could just as easily have been a pass break-up, McCarthy once again underthrew a ball, this one miraculously found itself glued to the receiver’s thigh.
Whether influenced by a desire to curb overthrows, or affected by the minor ankle injury that McCarthy appeared to suffer from in the first half — nothing was going right.
And even as the Wolverines had the game in hand deep into the third quarter, in a scrambling situation where McCarthy once found heroics, he was instead humbled.
Facing incoming pressure from the Falcons’ pass rush, McCarthy attempted to use his legs as he wheeled 15 yards behind his own line of scrimmage. Finding little options, he intended to throw the ball away, yet ended up placing it in the hands of Bowling Green linebacker Avi McGary.
Surpassing his total regular season interception count from all of 2022, McCarthy seemed to regress in real time.
“I tried to throw it away there,” McCarthy affirmed. “I’ve actually had practices in the past where I just make it too close exactly like that. And this one’s gonna be a perfect lesson to learn from and it’s never gonna happen again. I’m gonna throw that in the 300 level.”
It seemed like an encapsulation of McCarthy’s struggles from the night. A practice mistake that became a nightmarish reality, the lights appeared nearly too bright at times for the quarterback. Finishing 8-for-13 for 143 yards, McCarthy fell mightily from his once mountain-top height.
From uncharacteristic, to uncanny, to downright unimaginable — McCarthy went from perfect to pedestrian in all of 60 minutes.
Homecoming king: Philadelphia native D'Andre Swift runs for career-high 175 yards in Eagles' win over Vikings
By Grant Gordon- NFL.com
D'Andre Swift went from 3 to 175 in one week's time.
Speeding past Minnesota Vikings defenders, Swift posted a career-high 175 rushing yards as the Philadelphia Eagles' ground attack ran roughshod en route to a 34-28 win on Thursday Night Football.
It was a homecoming to remember for the Philadelphia native playing in his first home game at Lincoln Financial Field.
"It's a blessing," said Swift, who became the first Eagle with 175 yards and a touchdown on the ground since LeSean McCoy in 2013, per NFL Research. "Especially, home opener, first game playing in the stadium, just thank God."
Seemingly an afterthought in his Eagles debut a week prior, Swift had just one carry for 3 yards in his team's win over the New England Patriots with two touches total.
Four nights later, Swift averaged 6.3 yards a carry and outran the Vikings' entire offense, 175-28. He ended the night with 31 touches for 181 yards. The aforementioned career-best 175 rushing yards came on 28 carries, which stands as his second-highest career tally and just the second time he's surpassed 20 carries in a game.
"He just showed vision, explosiveness," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. "I thought the offensive line did a phenomenal job of pushing them off the ball. So, I was really pleased he protected the ball.
"That was a lot of touches, too. Not only pleased with how he saw it and how he hit it, but also thought he protected the ball. Especially, when they are coming after it in situations at the end of the game like that."
The former Detroit Lions back was every bit the bell cow as the Eagles scored three touchdowns on the ground and racked up a resounding 259 rushing yards Thursday. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was the beneficiary of Swift's offensive excellence, sneaking for a pair of touchdowns that came after Swift had led Philly to the 1-yard line.
Trailing, 7-3, in the second quarter, Hurts' first TD sneak concluded a 16-play, 75-yard march in which Swift carried the ball eight times for 39 yards. On the Eagles' opening drive of the third quarter, Swift took a handoff after a Kirk Cousins fumble at the Vikings' 7-yard line and burst through the left side for a 6-yard gain, once again setting up Hurts.
Swift finally got his first Eagles TD deep in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard plunge. By then, he'd already run to his first 100-yard game since Week 1 of last season, which so happened to be against the Eagles.
In the aftermath of the Eagles' sluggish win over the Pats, first-year offensive coordinator Brian Johnson said he'd be "mindful" of getting Swift the ball more. Johnson did, and Swift repaid his coach in kind.
Granted, Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell was inactive due to a rib injury, so it was a bit easier to divvy up more carries to Swift, but considering his performance Thursday, Philly will be hard-pressed to lessen his load going forward.
Swift flashed brilliance plenty during three seasons with the Lions, whetting anticipation that he could be a Pro Bowl-caliber, 1,000-yard runner. Neither happened for the 24-year-old RB, who's been hampered by injuries and missed at least three games each season.
So, the Eagles still have to proceed with caution, but Swift produced 175 reasons for optimism going forward with his new franchise.
"He's amazing," Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith said. "He's a bad m-----------."
Jared Goff, Lions Defense Draw Rave Reviews from NFL Fans in Upset Win over Chiefs
FRANCISCO ROSA -
The Detroit Lions entered the 2023 season with a lot buzz.
But after spoiling the Kansas City Chiefs' banner night for the opening game of the year with a 21-20 victory, they are at the center of the football universe.
In what was an ugly game at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night, the Lions managed to outplay the defending champs on their home turf and showed the world why they are considered the favorites to win the NFC North for the first time in three decades.
Led by quarterback Jared Goff and a much improved defense, Detroit left superstar signal caller Patrick Mahomes stunned as he lost a season opener for the first time in his young but storied career.
Going into Thursday night the Chiefs had won eight-consecutive season openers.
Goff completed 22-of-35 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown against a Kansas City defense that was a little shaky without star defensive lineman Chris Jones. But nonetheless, the former No. 1 overall pick stepped up when his squad needed him most in the win.
And NFL fans were quick to show the Lions a lot of love for their performance.
NASCAR Checkered Flags and more after the Daytona Race
Some would say Kyle Larson was cheated out of a possible win at Pocono several weeks ago after a late race tap into the wall by Denny Hamlin.
Well, what goes around as Larson took advantage of a late Hamlin miscue to secure his first victory at Darlington. Kyle led 57 laps during the race and in my opinion, he is along with Kyle Busch, the most versatile racers in the circuit. Going to Kansas next weekend, Larson sits__ in points.
Pit road woes- Denny Hamlin dominated at Darlington. He led 177 out of a possible 376 laps at the trap and all he has to show for it is a 25th place finish. Hamlin both stages one and two and he restarted great in stage three. Hamlin's perfect day came apart when a loose wheel forced him to revisit pit road and destroyed his chance to win the race. He fell a lap down and Todd Gilliland finished his day colliding with Hamlin and Bell, who were racing for the free pass late in the race. Hamlin is now fourth with two races to go to advance to round two.
The Darlington Stripe-
Every driver except Kevin Harvick has at least one encounter with the Darlington wall. Most keep going. For Christopher Bell, the pole winner had multiple encounters with the stripe. Add that to his pit woes and Bell' race was doomed from nearly the start. Bell led 40 laps during the playoff opener but he showed his inexperience early in the race. He finished 23rd and sits 12th in playoff points and one point ahead of Bubba Wallace with two races to go in the first round.
No Racing Luck
Kevin Harvick — He really worked hard all night to get himself into winning at Darlington. He has won twice in the last seven races at this track and he scored seven points in the first stage of the race. Just as things were looking up for Harvick, he tried to pass Tyler Reddick for the lead but tried to pit right as the caution was thrown for a Ryan Newman spin. The flag was thrown and the red flashing lights closing pit road were activated just before Harvick could avoid entering pit road. He restarted 26th after the penalty and finished 19th. Harvick would not advance if the first round after Darlington.
Roy J. Akers Column on Watkins Glen
William Byron had a lot of problems on the Roval at Indy failing inspection three times and spending the race climbing through the field finishing 14th. Not so at Watkins Glen. Byron was the class of the field and won going away, winning for the 5th time this season. Byron is technically third in points behind Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin, but his performance was a clinic and every team knows Byron is a final four contender. A final note is the 24 won races spread out throughout the season so consistency will help him in the final 11 races of the season. He also has 9 top fives in 25 races in 2023.
Out of Fuel
How does a driver run out of fuel when his crew chief gives you bad information? Chase Elliott spent most of the Watkins Glen road course inside the top ten. Elliott heard he had enough fuel for three laps from his crew chief Alan Gustafson. Kyle Petty took viewers through the fuel process and said that it was impossible to have more than two and NBC personnel said this error is on Gustafson. The bottom line is Elliott has only one race left to make the playoffs at Daytona. Talking to Elliott, he is humbled by his 2023 season. Its win or prep for 2024 for Elliott.
Finish line is in sight
Bubba Wallace knew winning at Watkins Glen would be a tall order. After watching Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick officially clinch playoff spots, Wallace sits 32 points ahead of rookie Ty Gibbs with only Daytona to go. Wallace had a conversation with perhaps the GOAT in Indy racing Scott Dixon. When Wallace asked Dixon on how he handles tracks he is not strong at, Dixon responded. "And he (Dixon) basically told me 'shut the hell up' and that I'm here for a reason and then trusting myself and believing myself. So, I don't think there was one lap when I said I was gonna suck so that was good," Wallace added. Wallace has 7 consecutive top tens at Daytona including three trips inside the top five.
In the pits
Michael McDowell had an outstanding run at the Indy roval last weekend. He started this race out the same way but his trips down pit road turned McDowell’s race into a nightmare. This week was very different. McDowell received a pit penalty for going through five pit boxes on the way to his own and received a pass through penalty. Then his crew performed an extra long pit stop with too many men over the wall and McDowell was all but doomed. A final pit stop brought the crew looking under the hood and all of the work the 34 driver did went out the window and a great effort went down the drain as the team received a DNF.
The disturbing news last weekend that Tampa Devil Rays shortstop Wander Franco had left a bunch of social media posts including pictures with not one but two underaged women, it made you wonder what the guy was thinking.
When you are a 22-year-old shortstop making nearly 190 million in the next decade, and you have fame, respect from your teammates and the baseball industry and you risk it around on a 14-year-old girl makes you wonder . Its true that this relationship is alleged but there are scores of pictures that make Wander look bad.
It makes sense for a middle school girl to be infatuated with a guy who "has all that and is a MLB plaer ," but the way women throw themselves at MLB players and many are experienced pro manipulators, why go down the road of a kiddie groomer. Everyone now knows that Wander like underaged girls . Readers, If only we could see the CEO's, politicians and famous people that went to Epstein Island, that would be news most of would rather see and correct than a guy that might have thrown his career down the drain.
Lions second year receiver Jameson Williams is looking like a bust. After the news that JWill would miss the rest of the preseason with a hamstring issue, Williams does not look like the successful player drafted at number nine in the 2022 draft. Add that to his six game suspension for gambling at the Lions team facility last spring, Lions coaches said missing the reps is the biggest thing they are concerned with.
Everyone knew when the Lions took him 9th in 2022 he would miss most of the regular season. Williams rewarded the team by playing in six games and caught one TD pass on... one reception in 2022. The rumor was Williams was not a very hard working player last year and instead of doing walkthroughs when he could not play or studying the playbook, he stayed away from the team.
In addition to the six game suspension, JWill appears to have hands of stone. He caught one pass with six targets last week against the New York Giants.
Williams is considered an essential player for the Lions going forward. Right now, Williams is going in reverse and the Lions have to wonder if he will ever be a productive player.
Checkered Flag- Of course, McDowell raced in something like 390 events before winning Daytona a few years ago and now has won on the biggest track in the world at Indy. He was very confident in the pressroom that he had a quality Sunday car during media availability. He credited his teammates and involved his family. McDowell has punched his playoff ticket. See the photo above.
Well deserved Michael!
Free Pass- Chase Elliott is tired of the media asking him if he has to win or get in the playoffs on points. MIS was the final straw after his 36th place finish and its Win or go home Elliott. Chase did an outstanding job on Sunday picking up a much needed confidence boost. The fact remains he must win at Watkins Glen or Daytona or Elliott will finish out the 2023 season. To our credit, no one asked Chase the question about winning.
One Lap Down- William Byron's car failed inspection three times on Saturday and the penalty was to enter the race at the rear of the field and serve a drive through pit penalty putting him one lap down. Well, Byron got the lap back and cruised through the field where spots were hard to obtain through passing. Byron finished 14th and has won four races in 2023. He made lemonade out of a lemon.
Rookie Mistakes- KAMUI KOBAYASHI came into the race with high expectations but with the reality that first time races outside of SVG, there is a NASCAR learning cure. Between Kobayashi's spins from his lack of experience in the Next Gen Gar, to tangling with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. multiple times and with several more drivers. Kobayashi finished in 33rd place.
What they are saying after the race
TYLER REDDICK, No. 45 SiriusXM Radio Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Does this run help you build for the Playoffs?
“We definitely had really good pace in the second half of the race. We just didn’t have the best start and weren’t quite as fast in the first half and got behind it. We short-pitted them, but we had a slow stop, and wasn’t in position to lunge them off of pit road, and that was kind of the story. We didn’t have a chance to get back around Daniel (Suarez). We could drop off about 10 car lengths and get right back to his bumper. Our SiriusXM Toyota Camry TRD was better, but not good enough to complete the pass. I think AJ Allmendinger with much fresher tires had to push really hard to get around Daniel, so that is the story of it – just unfortunately, hard to pass.”
KAMUI KOBAYASHI, No. 67 Toyota Genuine Parts Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing.Finishing Position: 33rd
What did you think of the day?
“First of all, I was waiting for a caution. It never happened. I definitely enjoyed it. Thank you. 77 laps, no caution is pretty long – I think I learned a lot. We had some good speed, as well. I got hit by someone, but this is NASCAR. But the racing in the field was great. It’s a really cool championship – I had a great experience here. Thank you to all of the support from Toyota, Toyota Gazoo Racing North America. This is a dream come true.”
Classic Clip shot at MIS
What the Drivers are saying to myself and the other reporters at MIS this weekend
Keeping my ear to the asphalt at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) and this is what drivers are saying.
Chase Elliott- Elliott said he has been asked a thousand times this year on how he will make the playoffs in 23. After missing seven weeks due to a snowboard injury and a one race suspension, “We have to win,” said Elliott. He likes Michigan and said the track has kept its character after being repaved a decade ago.
Kyle Busch- KB was asked about the Next Gen cars basically being too cookie cutter to pass. Busch agreed but said the toughest part is having a piece of sheet metal fastened to the bottom to prevent teams from making illegal changes as a place he would start tinkering. Busch said he only plans on five truck races in 2024 and that the new NASCAR with the CW may or may not change things going forward.
Brad Keselowski-Brad is very pleased with RFK Racing’s progress since NASCAR’s last race at MIS. After Chris Buescher’s third win at Richmond last weekend, his main goal is to get both CB’s car and Keslowski’s #6 into the playoffs.
When I asked him if he would like to get a third car into NASCAR’s weekly lineup, and if its sponsorship or performance criteria are factors, BK said “ it’s a matter of the NASCAR charter.” “There are none for sale said BK.
Bubba Wallace- is in 15th place in the driver point standings with five races to go and sits 54 points in front of 2023 rookie Ty Gibbs. Wallace led plenty of laps at Michigan last year before falling off late in the race. Wallace said “last year was last year” and he has focused on winning his way into the 2023 playoffs.
Kevin Harvick- Harvick is not emotional on his final season on the circuit. He said he is a self-described planner but he just wants to win each week and MIS is no different than any other track even though he has won here five times. Harvick is looking forward to his full-time position next year with Fox where he will broadcast with former Stewart-Haas racing teammate Clint Bowyer.
Aric Almirola- He is taking his time on deciding to come back in 2024. He nearly retired after the 2022 season and both his family and sponsor will play a role in his potential future. Almirola told me he wants to win each week and how the 2023 season plays out will have a huge focus on his future plans. Almirola is in need of some instant points or a win. He has one top ten on the season and sits 84 points out of 16th place, the cutoff position of the playoffs.
Denny Hamlin- Hamlin agreed that MIS is the last ‘normal’ track before the playoffs and said that both the Indy Roval, Watkins Glen are way different tracks. Daytona is always a wild card race. Hamlin has won twice this year plus he earned 7 more top fives and a total of 10 races in the top ten.
Tigers GM Scott Harris and Tigers Owner Chris Illitch blew it!
You expect professional sports team GM's, Scouts, Owners, and anyone in charge of player procurement to be competent.
The buildup to this trade deadline for Tigers fans is a huge letdown. With the Tigers being 12 games below .500 in the weakest division in baseball, the team will not pay huge salaries to bring back former co-aces Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander.
That is understood.
Even Mr. I would have to be talked off the shelf to not make that deal or give up top prospects to the Mets.
This Tigers team is just not ready to win. The team has invested heavily drafting position players in several straight recent drafts after collecting pitchers for several years before that. Let's review and then talk about the failed 2023 trade deadline.
Spencer Torkelson has been underwhelming so far. He is getting better, but he was brought up too soon. The same goes for Riley Greene. Greene is certainly the better of the two players.
The Tigers luck drafting pitchers has been a bust so far. Casey Mize was getting lit up before blowing up his arm in 2022. Tarik Skubal was a lower draft pick that came through more than Mize, but he also spent time on the shelf for nearly a year before returning and he is currently pitching poorly. Same goes for Matt Manning, who has spent as much time on the IL as in a game and when making it to the moun, he has been spotty. Add Jackson Jobe, he recently returned to the Tigers Lakeland team after back problems and former first rounder Alex Faedo is now considered a mop up player.
Scott Harris was not here for any of that but his trade of Tigers all-star Michael Lorenzen for Infield prospect Hao-Yu Lee, a marginal prospect with the Phillies is one that will most likely be a yawner.
That brings us to Eduardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is having a good season for the Tigers. The problem is he pitched terrific for Detroit before his injury where he missed several weeks. Since returning, he has pitched poorly. Still, he has very good stats figuring his total season.
The tricky part of trading him is Rodriquez has both a ten team no-trade clause and an opt out contract clause at the end of the 2023 season. Harris and Illitch tried to trade E-Rod to the LA Dodgers, who are one of the ten teams on his no-trade list.
In all fairness, Harris did keep the dialogue going with his player and E-Rod said he might consider going to LA. So instead of Harris finding one of 19 teams he would go to, he forged a trade with LA and Rodriquez said no just before 6pm.
The Dodgers can afford salary. The Tigers will most likely lose this player at the end of the season. Detroit has a bunch of young first round players that are both constantly injured or underwhelming. Detroit might want to pony up the cash to keep Rodriquez. Perhaps he can mentor Mize, Skubal, Manning and the rest. Harris should have traded E-Rod to a team not on his no-no list.
Bet Mr. I blew a stack of pepperoni's with this latest development.
Michigan Panthers Defensive Lineman Ethan Westbrooks is
2023 USFL Sportsman of the Year
CANTON, Ohio, During media day leading into Saturday’s USFL Championship Game (8:00 PM ET on NBC and Peacock) and the culmination of a second successful season, the league announced its two top awards.
“In one of the most accomplished seasons in professional spring football history where he accounted for a modern USFL record 25 touchdowns in just 10 games, we’re proud to announce that Birmingham Stallions Quarterback Alex McGough is the 2023 USFL Most Valuable Player,” said Daryl Johnston, President of Football Operations.
After Johnston named McGough MVP, he then announced Michigan Panthers Defensive Lineman Ethan Westbrooks as 2023 USFL Sportsman of the Year.
The Sportsman of the Year Award is presented annually to honor one player who has best exhibited commitment to community service as well as excellence on the field. Each USFL team voted on one player to be its Sportsman of the Year nominee. As Johnston noted during the announcement, it was a tough choice between eight outstanding team nominees. Westbrooks ultimately stood out for his dedication to youth outreach in the Greater Detroit area during the Michigan Panthers 2023 season.
Westbrooks, 32, played collegiately at West Texas A&M and entered the 2023 USFL season without any direct ties to the state of Michigan. In fact Westbrooks, who hails from Oakland, California, quickly discovered that his native and now adopted city are similar hard-working communities. His outreach during the 2023 season focused on serving the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan and Detroit PAL, a ‘not for profit’ partnership with the Detroit Police Department and community volunteers that help youth find their greatness through sports and enrichment programs.
Using his NFL experience, Westbrooks provided seasoned veteran leadership for head coach Mike Nolan’s Michigan Panthers. Appearing in nine games in 2023, Westbrooks recorded 12 tackles (10 solo), three tackles for loss and one sack.